Nigeria: Top Nigerians Involved in Illegal Mining Funding Banditry, Terrorism – Minister

The Minister of Solid Mineral, Mr Dele Alake, has alleged…

The Minister of Solid Mineral, Mr Dele Alake, has alleged that powerful Nigerians involved in illegal mining were responsible for other criminal activities and involved in sponsoring banditry and terrorism in the country.

Alake said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals for the 2024 budget defence in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, a lot of banditry and terrorism are sponsored by illegal miners; they are not people who pick gold on the ground but powerful individuals in the country.

He said the majority of the illegal miners were not foreigners but added that foreigners could be seen as symptoms.

”Nigerians are those powerful people behind them; we are identifying them with both kynetic and non-kynetic means. We have encouraged those petty illegal miners to form cooperatives.”

He said the most disturbing aspect was that most of the foreigners engaged in illegal mining in the country had no proper immigration.

He said for mining to generate the requisite revenue, there was a need to have a formal structure that the multinational could deal with, just like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd.

He, however, said that the approach of the ministry under his leadership would be different from NNPCL, adding that the structure being proposed for Nigeria Mining Cooperation would be primarily private sector-driven.

He added that ”Nigeria will also have its equity, adding that this would mean that no government could destabilize the structure.

He said the conservative amount of minerals deposited in the country is over 700 billion dollars, adding that in Nigeria, we had not even accessed a quarter of what it has.

He urged the chairman of the committee to support the process, adding that this would help change mining in the country.